Arizona basketball F Ray Smith injured in exhibition win
Arizona’s 86-35 victory in an exhibition opener against College of Idaho was an afterthought.
First on the Wildcats’ minds after the Tuesday blowout is the health of small forward Ray Smith, who left the game in the second half with appeared to be a serious leg injury. Smith tweaked his right leg twice prior, and both times went and then returned from the locker room. The third time he went down, the freshman, who redshirted last year, did not return.
Smith, a 5-star recruit from 2015, has missed the last two full seasons of basketball — one with his high school team and another with Arizona — after separate ACL injuries.
He left in the middle of the second half Tuesday when he went up and came down awkwardly on a layup. He motioned for help and was carried to the locker room. UA coach Sean Miller said in his postgame radio interview and postgame presser that he did not know the extent of the injury.
Smith himself sent some tweets after the game:
The Wildcats began the game with more bad news that became publicly apparent.
Sophomore guard Allonzo Trier, who is rumored to have eligibility troubles, warmed up but watched the game in street clothes.
Big man Chance Comanche also wasn’t dressed. Miller released a statement near tip time, saying the sophomore was suspended indefinitely due to academic problems.
“As a member of our basketball program, you are a student and an athlete, and you are expected to do the best of your ability in both areas,” Miller said in the release. “It is not an option to compete and be held accountable on the court but not in the classroom. This suspension is indefinite.”
With Smith, Trier and Comanche out, Arizona is limited to seven scholarship players, leading Miller to look ahead with the worst-case scenario in mind.
Miller said that he would look at a three-guard lineup with point guards Parker Jackson-Cartwright, Kadeem Allen and Kobi Simmons all playing together. He also said freshman power forward Lauri Markkanen could see playing time at small forward.
As it stands, the roster of likely rotation players looks like so:
G: Parker Jackson-Cartwright
G: Kadeem Allen
G: Rawle Alkins
F: Lauri Markkanen
C: Dusan Ristic
G: Kobi Simmons
F: Keanu Pinder
In the exhibition win at McKale Center, Simmons led the Wildcats with 17 points, while Ristic added 14 points and nine rebounds.